lauder was bathed in warm spring sunshine as the curtain came up on the town’s Common Riding celebrations on Friday evening when Iain Dick was formally appointed Cornet for 2011, writes Andrew Keddie.
The cheers which rang out in the Royal Burgh as he was formally paraded in Market Place and West High Street after his introduction to townsfolk was proof positive that he is a very popular choice.
When Iain, 22, leads the cavalcade on Common Riding Day, he will be following in the footsteps of his older brother. Stuart, who was Cornet in 2004.
His Lass, Anneka Ker, 23, will also be carrying on a proud family tradition. Her father Ross was Cornet in 1980, when her mum Joyce (nee Middlemiss) was Lass, and Anneka has been a mounted supporter of the Lauder celebrations since the age of four.
The son of Maxwell and Margaret Dick of East High Street, Iain was educated at Lauder Primary and Earlston High, and is a trainee auctioneer at John Swan’s mart in Newtown St Boswell.
On Friday, he told Ex-Cornet Ian Fallas, chairman of the Common Riding Committee: “I am privileged and extremely honoured to be charged to lead the Common Riding in 2011 on behalf of the Royal and Ancient Burgh.
“It has been a long-held ambition of mine to hold this high office and I will endeavour to carry out my duties, both in Lauder and at the other festivals, to the best of my abilities for myself, my family and the people of Lauder.”
Iain, who, like Anneka, rode at the Common Riding as a child, is a founder member of the Twenty10 Club, formed last year. “The club is for young men who may or may not have aspirations to be Cornet, but who are all determined that the proud traditions of the town should be nurtured and protected.” explained Iain. “The club, which held a successful dinner last month, has proved very popular which bodes very well for the future.”
Anneka, of Under Loan Park, has just completed the third and penultimate year of her studies as a diagnostic radiographer at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.
“It’s an absolute dream come true for me,” she said. “Iain has been a friend for a long time and is a magnificent choice as Cornet and he asked me at the end of January if I would consider being his Lass – it has been a difficult secret to keep.
“My parents are obviously delighted, especially as dad is an ex-Cornet and the Middlemiss clan has such a strong connection with the Common Riding. I am very proud and humbled to be Lass and I just know it’s going to be a Common Riding to remember.”
Anneka’s long-term boyfriend is Lewis Playfair who has been appointed the 2011 Braw Lad. By coincidence, Anneka’s father and mother were Cornet and Lass in 1980, the same year that Lewis’s parents Colin and Jackie were Braw Lad and Lass.
Right and Left hand men in Lauder this year will be preceding Cornets Fraser Middlemiss and Marc Alexander.
Lauder Common Riding takes place on Saturday, August 6, after a week of activities including the Kirkin’, children’s sports, rideouts, a superstars competition, fancy dress parade, socials, dinners and an open-air concert to round off the big day. The ball will take place in the Lauderdale Hotel.